Dr. B and I shared our 10 Villains of the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) yesterday, so we want to make sure to come through and share out 10 Heroes with you today! GABF is full of SO MANY beer heroes, but we cut the list at ten to be concise. Hope you enjoy these people, recognize them, and hug them at GABF (not in a creepy way, of course)!
Saviors are our designated drivers and people who make sure that everyone is okay and gets home safely. Festivals could not run without their assistance and the Denver Police jail cells would be packed without them. Thank you, drivers!
The “Supreme Volunteer”
Thank you to all of the hundreds of selfless volunteers found giving their talented time and effort to make GABF a huge success. These volunteers donate countless hours of sobriety and will stand behind the table pouring beer until every last festival goer gets to try their chosen taster. (They even have to work 2-3 shifts just to earn a free ticket to a session the following year!) Our friend, Beth Walter comes to mind… Coordinator of volunteers and a genuine smile beaming from her face all through GABF week. We hope to see you in a couple days, Beth!
Storytellers are the living history of Great American Beer Festivals of last. They are so dedicated to the concept of GABF that they keep coming back decade after decade to try beers, volunteer, and make the festival successful. They are a wealth of beer tasting information, but yet know how not to talk your ear off about it all. They remember when the award ceremony was held in the main hall and everyone got to attend, yet they embrace the new and creative ways of running such a large event. We toast you, Storytellers!
The “Zen Dude/Dudette”
It’s always good to run into and/or have a Zen Dude/Dudette in your group for GABF. This person has no worries and no amount of crowd stress can break their good energy… even when his/her favorite beer kicks, all is well in the universe, because you are drinking beer at one of the best festivals in the world!
The “Special BREW-er”
Thank you to all of the brewers and breweries (Look out for special HOURLY releases from Boston Beer, Deschutes, Goose Island, Avery, Dogfish Head, etc.) that bring special beer for all to try at GABF. We know it is customary to bring something special to the Saturday morning session (AHA Session), but this toast is to the ones who bring it to the regular sessions, too! The general public may not know how special the beer is initially, but when they try it, you are sure to be their new favorite brewery because of how much you care.
The “Super Brewer”
“Super Brewers” are brewers who attend the regular AND AHA sessions during GABF. These wonderful men and women will take time to tell you intricate details about their beer, take photos with you, and give you their time all day long. It can be challenging and exhausting to put forth this much personalized energy, but making drinkers feel important, special, and educated is always worth it!
The “Pretzel Man/Woman”
“Pretzel Man/Woman” carries around with him/her the most amount of pretzels that you think one could fit around one’s neck in an evening. Better yet, she/he will share with you and all of your new friends because making friends and drinking tasty beer is what GABF is all about! Thank you for being so generous, “Pretzel Wo/Man!”
The “Costumed Hero”
Like the “Pretzel Man/Woman,” the “Costume Hero” embodies the spirit of GABF by sharing boundless enthusiasm for festivals, beer, and friendship. It starts with solo costumes and flows into large groups winning the competition on Friday night. Their joy is contagious and always my favorite part of GABF!
The “Braveheart” is a person attending GABF seemly against all odds and defying any adversity. Like the photo above, not even a broken ankle keeps these beer fans at home! Dr. B and I had a chance to meet a woman with Cerebral Palsy last year, while walking the perimeter of the festival. It was so awesome to see ALL of our beer fans present. It can be a scary, daunting task to maneuver through thick crowds and wait in line for the beer you want, but their beer passion draws them to the front of the table regardless of challenges.
The “Super Fans”
“Super Fans” remind me of the SNL skit about the love of the Chicago Bears and transfers directly to the love of beer, beer names, brands, etc. You’ll be able to easily spot of super fan by their attire. Each piece is specifically chosen to represent their love of beer. They’ll have hop earrings (Miss Lupulin!), favorite brewery t-shirt layered under a brewer’s shirt from another brewery, hats, and some go the deepest and get logos tattooed on their skin. We LOVE Super Fans! You keep brewers on their toes and make us as excited to see you as an old friend.